Voluntary registration: A guide for solicitors and property professionals

Why support voluntary registration?

Solicitors and property professionals play a vital role in promoting voluntary land registration across England and Wales.

As valued and trusted advisers to estates and landowners, you can advise your clients that choosing to have their land registered now is the right decision to make. By doing so you can only strengthen your relationships with your clients.

Registration provides owners with greater security of title, giving them better protection against claims of adverse possession. It also makes your work more straightforward, supplying you with electronic documentation and maps to work from. And as e-conveyancing is introduced stage-by-stage, you will be better prepared by already having your clients' titles available online.

Now is the best time to register land as Land Registry is currently offering a discount of up to 25 per cent on the full cost of first registration for applications lodged voluntarily.

What are the benefits?

Ease

Registration allows your clients to get their estates in order while they are in a good position to do so. It establishes proof of ownership and produces an easy-to-read document reflecting the contents of all the relevant documents. This simplifies conveyancing, making transactions easier and potentially less costly for all involved.

Efficiency

All title information is kept on Land Registry's database, reducing the need to store old and often unclear deeds. The register can be viewed quickly and securely online.

Protection

There is no more effective way to safeguard ownership of land and property than by registering title with us. State-backed registration gives greater security of title, providing better protection against claims of adverse possession.

The register allows you to enter three addresses at which we can contact your clients, including an email address. It is vitally important to keep these addresses up-to-date.

How is it done?

We will discuss the registration process with you and your client and help make it as straightforward as possible. If some of the title documents are missing, we can provide assistance and discuss a way forward.

What does it cost?

The fees are based on the market value of the land and buildings. Access the latest fees or contact us.

Who should you contact?

Please contact Customer Support on 0844 892 1111 between 8am and 6pm Mondays to Fridays. Alternatively email customersupport@landregistry.gsi.gov.uk.

What our customers say

Celia Tildesley, Partner, MFG Solicitors LLP, Telford

It is much better if your client's titles are registered, particularly if you deal with large estates. It can be extremely complex and time consuming if your client wishes to sell off a bit of land and you have to trawl through all the deeds to locate the applicable documents. It is so much easier if everything is registered. We encourage all our clients to consider voluntary first registration of title.

Alistair Whyte, Partner, Coodes Solicitors, Truro

Pre-registration deeds are a jigsaw. We are finding bits of land that clients did not realise they still owned. The end result of the process is you have one plan the clients can comprehend. When it comes to selling a property, registration assists with ready marketing of the property.

Tim Smithers, Partner, Veale Wasbrough Lawyers, Bristol

We're registering 700 miles of cross-country pipeline networks. Registration is a good way to check there are no 'gaps' in the legal documentation and that the pipeline companies are approaching the right people on the ground. It also helps with monitoring future changes in ownership. As soon as our clients heard about registration they were very keen to do it. Land Registry has been proactive, highly organised, very focused and a pleasure to deal with.

Peter Goodacre, President, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

All property professionals rely on access to good title. Registration is clearly critical in avoiding ownership disputes. This is particularly important at a time when population growth is placing increasing pressure on our land and resources, making the rights and responsibilities of ownership even more significant than before. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors values and supports Land Registry’s aim of completing a comprehensive land register by encouraging voluntary registration.

Tim Shuldham, Partner, Shuldham Calverley Agricultural Valuers, and member of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers

It makes it easier to sell land. It’s also a great help with encroachment. On the edge of towns, particularly, you’ll get a new development that started with a straight line boundary and, over the years, the individual house owners have gradually encroached their gardens onto the farmer’s land. Also, the paper deeds can often be inadequate. And there’s a discount on offer now, so the costs are less.